Each day, stress hormones run through our bodies influencing many of our imperative functions –– including metabolism, energy, blood sugar, sex drive and sleep. When our hormones are in balance, we feel generally strong, resilient, positive, and joyful. When our hormones are out of whack, we wake up in the middle of the night, eat an unhealthy diet (sugar, fried foods, etc…) or lash out at others.
Have You Heard of Oxytocin, The Love Hormone?
Oxytocin is the chemical foundation for trusting others. Activated by positive social interactions, it makes us care about others in tangible ways, and it motivates us to work together for a common purpose. It promotes connection, closeness, calm, lowers inflammation and most importantly balances out our cortisol, the primary stress hormone.
Most of us prefer that our oxytocin be higher than our cortisol so that we can relieve stress, higher levels anxiety, extra weight gain, and uncontrollable cravings. The good news is you can create more oxytocin in your life (for yourself and others), here’s how:
1. Hug More — Touch not only raises oxytocin, but it reduces cardiovascular stress and believe it or not, improves your immune system. Try telling people that you hug rather than shake hands (or bump elbows) and see what happens when you give others the gift of oxytocin.
2. Give a Gift — Clinical studies showed that receiving gifts raised oxytocin. Why not make this a regular practice? The key is not to expect a gift in return, just surprise someone for no reason.
3. Share a Meal — Eating together with a friend or loved one is calming and helps us bond with others. Including a glass of wine if appropriate.
4. Eat Oxytocin Promoting Foods — Balanced-blood sugar, healthy fats, antioxidants and B vitamins support your brain resulting in higher level of oxytocin and lower levels of stress. List of calming foods include avocado, eggs, fish, nuts, berries, spirulina, sweet potato and dark chocolate.
5. Take Oxytocin Promoting Supplements — Ingredients that encourage the release of oxytocin include Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Chamomile, Melatonin, B vitamins, 5HTP and L-Theanine. You can take these individually or find them in almost all the Procera products including Procera Advanced Brain, Procera Mood, Procera Sleep and Procera Protect.
6. Connect With Others — Being close to another person elevates our oxytocin. Connect with your friends, call a family member, compliment a stranger and/or snuggle with your pet and notice how much better you feel afterwards.
7. Take A Risk — Ride a roller coaster or jump out of an airplane. Many activities that are moderately stressful and done with one or more other people raise oxytocin. One clinical study showed that skydiving produced a 200% spike in oxytocin.